Just heard that Fr Kieran O’Reilly has been appointed as new bishop of Killaloe, replacing Bishop Willie Walsh. So of course I googled him – and I like what I see. A missionary bishop – that sounds like exactly what Ireland might just need at the moment.
In fact the the list of skills he has sounds like a wish list you might write for a new bishop here. He has pastoral experience in various parts of Africa, has done academic studies in Sacred Scripture but has particular interest too in justice issues. Very importantly, he has great leadership experience, having been twice elected Superior General of the Society of African Missions (SMA). He’s also quite young, and having been out of Ireland for much of his ministry, will be able to bring much need fresh perspectives. I like what he has to say about need for on-going theological training for priests and for others trying to bring the faith into the world. Here’s an example from the 2008 Synod of Bishops on the theme “The Word of God in the Life and Mission of the Church”: Fr Kieran O’Carroll on Sacred Scripture in the Church.
But the thing I like most is that he is a missionary. That’s what we need here.